Rebecca Williams, head of policy and regulation, RenewableUK: “To meet net zero and recover from Covid, we need to put a rocket under our economy and that rocket has to run on clean energy. The CCC is clear about the huge opportunities right across the renewable energy sector and if we can invest early in emerging technologies like floating offshore wind and renewable hydrogen, the UK can build world-leading industries. A green economic recovery after the pandemic can create tens of thousands of jobs and attract billions in investment.”
“It’s good to see the CCC highlighting the Government’s upcoming White Paper on energy as an ideal opportunity to accelerate progress on electrifying and decarbonising the heat and transport sectors, as well as scaling up battery storage to provide even greater flexibility”.
Rain Newton-Smith, chief economist, CBI: “This vital new report provides an urgent reminder that we need to do more to get on track to achieve net-zero emissions. It outlines many welcome measures for carbon-reduction, as well as highlighting some areas where further consultation with business will be needed.
“We agree that progress to decarbonise power needs to be coupled with government-led strategies on energy efficiency, decarbonising transport and sustainable manufacturing and industrial processes. While policy recommendations to specific departments demonstrate the need for net-zero to become a core objective that cuts across government and devolved nations.
“The CBI continues to champion the UK’s 2050 net-zero target and the need to accelerate progress towards ending our contribution to climate change. Our latest report stressed the strikingly clear economic rationale for making low-carbon investment a key pillar of our post-pandemic recovery.
“As we look to build back better from the Covid-19 crisis, we reach a critical moment in our fight against the climate emergency. Business stands shoulder to shoulder with political leaders and consumers in its desire for ambitious change.”
Danielle Lane, UK country manager, Vattenfall: “The UK is going to need a wide mix of low-carbon and renewable heat and power if it is to reach net zero, and the Committee on Climate Change is absolutely right to call for at least 40GW of offshore wind generation by 2030. This is a critical moment for offshore wind in this country, and the industry is watching for a strong signal of intent that the Government is serious about maintaining the UK’s position as a global leader. It can send that signal right now by avoiding further planning delays and approving offshore projects which are ready to go – such as Vattenfall’s Norfolk Vanguard and Boreas projects which could power over 3.5 million homes with green electricity – as well as boosting support to develop UK supply chains.
“The CCC also highlights the possibilities for reducing emissions in all areas of our lives beyond power generation, including heating and transport. But if we are to make the rapid progress needed in these areas, then policy choices should prioritise the lowest carbon options now – such as green hydrogen for transport and heavy industry – rather than CCS.
“Likewise, when it comes to heating buildings, decision-makers must stop trying to incentivise one technology over another. Heat is an essential service, and heat networks, heat pumps, and other technologies all have a role to play. So we need to see clear policies which support each one in the areas of the country where they will be most effective, without piling costs on to people who can least afford to pay.”
Nick Molho, executive director, Aldersgate Group: “It’s crystal clear from today’s report that actions taken this year and during this parliamentary term will have a decisive impact on whether the UK can meet its net zero target, build a competitive low carbon economy and successfully recover from the COVID-19 crisis. Businesses need this to be a priority for the whole of government, with the Prime Minister leading a two-pronged approach to this challenge.
“First, new regulations and fiscal incentives must urgently be introduced to accelerate emission cuts in areas where solutions are well known, such as in buildings and surface transport. Second, the Government must adopt a ‘learning by doing’ approach and put in place a truly ambitious innovation policy that accelerates the development of critical technologies to drive down emissions in more complex sectors like heavy industry.”
Caroline Bragg, head of policy, ADE: “The UK is falling behind on meeting our carbon budgets. As the Climate Change Committee has set out, net zero must sit at the heart of our economic recovery. To achieve this, the number one priority for Government must be backing a national buildings renovation programme.
Better buildings will create 50,000 real quantifiable green jobs in the next two years and nigh on 200,000 by 2050. Better buildings will predominantly create jobs outside of the South-East – putting decarbonisation to work to level up our regions. And, better buildings will be a crucial part of the just transition, allowing those impacted by these extraordinary times to reskill and be part of the future green economy.
…we have identified key priorities for the Green Recovery:
- Infrastructure investment to drive economic recovery
- Aligning investment with net zero
- Addressing regulatory barriers to investment
- Supporting businesses to access low carbon markets and helping carbon intensive sectors transition to net zero
“We are delighted to see these priorities reflected in the CCC interim report to Parliament today and we look forward to the government response to these pressing concerns. The choice of a U-shaped recovery or an L shaped recession, rests on the strength of government’s commitment to a nation-wide retrofit of the UK’s buildings.”
David Smith, chief executive, Energy Networks Association: “The networks are ready to invest now to create the net zero future we all need. We’ve already set out our plans for the world’s first zero-carbon gas network and we’re preparing for a mass electric vehicle roll-out in support of an earlier ban on petrol and diesel vehicles. The networks are ready to work with the government and Ofgem to fast-track these plans and play our part in the UK’s green recovery.”
Dr Camilla Toulmin, Senior Fellow, International Institute for Environment and Development:
“With the climate negotiations pushed back by a year due to the pandemic, as President to COP26 we cannot see a slowdown or delay to climate action in 2020. Climate impacts are being felt in the UK and across the world with increasing frequency. Many African countries are facing a severe debt crisis from the double hit of climate impacts and the pandemic. The climate crisis has not stopped.
“The CCC report shows that the UK can show international leadership by presenting recovery package offers a win for the economy, jobs and for a low carbon climate resilient future.”
Deirdre Michie, chief executive, Oli and Gas UK:“The Committee on Climate Change report offers a measured and thoughtful view on how we can stimulate a truly fair transition towards a lower carbon future.
“We can’t afford for communities like the North East of Scotland or the East of England to be left behind. We urgently need a green recovery which enables our industry to meet as much of the UK’s oil and gas demand from domestic resources while developing the critical solutions which will help reduce emissions in other industries and wider society. This is the fair, sustainable and inclusive transition which will allow the UK to meet its climate ambitions in a way which supports jobs, skills and energy communities.”
Adair Turner, senior fellow, Institute for New Economic Thinking: “The Committee is absolutely right to stress the huge opportunity for policies which both drive economic recovery and accelerate progress towards a zero carbon economy.
“In a world of rock bottom interest rates, now is the time to invest in renewable energy and other key forms of green infrastructure; faced with huge employment challenges, policy must focus on creating green jobs and government support for firms should be contingent on strengthened commitments to emission reductions and avoid supporting old technologies and potentially stranded assets.
“Sectors such as renewable energy, tree-planting and home energy retrofits offer major opportunities for near-term job creation and would also shift the UK economy onto a net zero trajectory. This is a clear win-win opportunity which must be seized.”
Jess Ralston, analyst, Energy and Climate Intelligence Unit: “For some time, it’s been obvious that the UK’s building stock is not up to the net zero standard and during the pandemic, our homes have become more important than ever. Yet again today, the CCC’s report really highlights that we have to get a move on – as more than one house per minute will need to be retrofitted to 2050 in order to meet the UK’s climate goals.
“As well as tackling one of the trickier sectors to decarbonise, making homes energy efficient and lowering energy bills at the same time can also unlock well-paid, skilled jobs right across the country. In areas where homes have the poorest energy performance, such as those in the North and Midlands, more jobs will be created to retrofit their stock, generating a real opportunity for them to level up whilst meeting the government’s legally binding targets.”
Will Gardiner, chief executive, Drax Group: “Bioenergy with carbon capture and storage (BECCS) presents an unrivalled opportunity for the UK to show global leadership in a vital negative emissions technology, urgently needed to tackle the climate crisis and help protect and create jobs during the post-Covid economic recovery.
“Drax is pioneering BECCS at the power station in North Yorkshire – we just announced a new pilot project in collaboration with Mitsubishi Heavy Industries. Using BECCS at scale will help to boost the UK’s economy following the Covid crisis and support the development of a zero carbon industrial cluster in the Humber region – delivering clean growth and protecting thousands of jobs.”
Ian Johnston, chief executive, Engenie : “We have a once in a lifetime opportunity to bring about a step-change in low carbon transport. By taxing cheap oil and using the revenue to subsidise electric vehicles, drivers will have the confidence to make the switch to electric on mass, while also creating countless green jobs. Electric vehicles can be the driving force behind our economic recovery but the government must act on these recommendations immediately to avoid being left behind.”